<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Picks 11/1/14


Guilty Pleasures

Okay, sometimes one has guilty entertainment pleasures that even verge towards being politically incorrect. And that’s okay; I think we all should, because sometimes it is simply entertainment.

Book: ‘Stuff White People Like’

If we can’t laugh at ourselves we are in big trouble. And I’m a white person who can be guilty as charged on many of the entries in this book. Like, the very first one: “Coffee.” Author Christian Lander does a quite effective job of identifying our predictable behavior, pack attitudes and sometime knee-jerk trendiness and gently mocking us for it. And it’s good to be called out on such things so that we might question our assumptions (and ironically, another pick here is cited). Since this book was a New York Times bestseller, guess white people liked it too.

TV Series: ‘Two and a Half Men’

Stumbled onto this long-running series in syndication and, well, it lured me in. Yes, it can be misogynistic, tacky and silly, though not really any more so than much else within our modern culture. But it’s also amusing, and largely for one and only one reason: Charlie Sheen. Whose private behavior isn’t exemplary either. (Though as it’s not part of the show, does it even matter?) Sheen is the no apologies outsider that everything else on this show bounces off of, and to wit, the effort to recast it after he was fired led to its demise. Watching it isn’t going to change you or the world, but as light diversions go, hey “Two and a Half Men” is never boring and consistently amusing.

TV Series: ‘The Simpsons’

Hadn’t seen many episodes lately and then caught a few and happily found myself laughing out loud. After some 25 years this animated mischief making show is still going strong – one hell of an impressive accomplishment. The secret seems in part to be no sacred cows, and no limits on just how weird things can get in the cartoon burg of Springfield. The humor is never truly mean, and there’s a loving core within the Simpson family that emanates outward through the show that has given this series its enduring strength.

From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2014


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